8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Unconvincing change of arena,
By A Customer
This review is from: On Green Dolphin Street (Hardcover)
This book marks a departure for Faulks from his last two novels in the French triology which were so sucessful in stirring empathy in the reader. "On Green Dolphin Street" sees Faulks tackle a love story set against the political race for the US presidency between Kennedy and Nixon.
Many of Faulks' usual ingredients are present in this book: focus on a love story, intense characterisations and well researched historical details. The problem with the book was the historical context he has chosen: Faulks fails to recreate the sense of change which the US was undergoing in the late fifties/early sixties and he relies too heaviliy on the poignancy which the reader's hindsight brings to the fate of Kennedy and Nixon. The fact that Faulks harks back to WW2 and Vietnam in the recollections of the two male lead characters suggests that even he knew that political battles are no real substtiute for physical warfare as a setting for a love story.
I finished the book not caring about the fate of any of the three main characters, largely as a result of the curiously dispassionate description of their feelings.
Faulks does succeed in depicting well New York of the era and the description of Mary's reactions to the death of her mother were very moving - and if only for that reason it is worth a read.